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Good Wife, Bad Witch: The Terrorization and Domestication of Women in Early Modern Europe

Good Wife, Bad Witch: The Terrorization and Domestication of Women in Early Modern Europe

Most New Englanders are very familiar with the outbreak of the witch craze in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, but many have never heard of The Burning Times, a period of roughly 150 years in Europe during which tens of thousands of people -- 80% of whom were women -- were tortured and executed for the imaginary crime of witchcraft. Why were women so overwhelmingly represented among the victims of this collective insanity? This lecture addresses the social and economic causes, worldview and Catholic and Protesant theological doctrines and documents that contributed to this horrific epoch. Works cited: Atkinson, Clarissa W. The Oldest Vocation: Christian Motherhood in the. Middle Ages, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991. Barstow, Anne Llewellyn. Witchcraze: A New History Of the European Witch Hunts. London: HarperCollins, 1994. Brauner, Sigrid. Fearless Wives and Frightened Shrews: The Construction of the Witch in Early Modern Germany. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995. Klaits, Joseph. Servants of Satan: The Age of the Witch Hunts. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. The Malleus Maleficarum by Jacob Kramer and Heinrich Sprenger. Translation Burr, in Alan Kors and Edward Peters, Witchcraft in Europe 1100-1700: A Document History. Levack, Brian. The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, 4th edition. Routledge, 2016. Quaife, G. R. Godly Zeal and Furious Rage: The Witch in Early Modern Europe. St. Martin's Press, 1987. Roper, Lyndal. The Holy Household: Women and Morals in Reformation Augsburg. Oxford University Press, 1989. _______, Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality, and Religion in Early Modern Europe. Routledge, 1994. Wiesner, Merry E. Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press, 1993.
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